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Top 10 Week 1 Performances of the Last 25 Years PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mark Grey   

Curtis Martin

by MARK GREY

9.17.09 

10. Duce Staley  (Philadelphia Eagles) 2000 - On opening day, the Duce was loose as Staley ran wild all over the Dallas Cowboys.  Duce carried the ball 26 times for 201 yards and a touchdown.  And as if he wasn’t doing enough damage running the ball, Duce also tacked on another 4 catches for 61 yards.

2000 season: Duce did little else for the rest of the season as his season ended after week 5 due to injury.  5 games -- 344 yards, 1 touchdown.

9. Marty Booker (Chicago Bears) 2002 - Marty Booker used week 1 as his own personal coming out party for the year.  As the Bears pulled off a close victory over the Vikings, Booker was unstoppable.  Booker torched the Vikings' secondary all day hauling in 8 passes for 198 yards and 1 touchdown.

2002 season:
97 receptions, 1189 yards, 6 touchdowns and his first and only Pro Bowl.

8. Curtis Martin (NY Jets) 2004 -
With questions about Martin’s age going into the season, Martin made a statement that even at the age of 31, he was better than ever.  Martin ran all over the Bengals for 196 yards.  He not only ran for a touchdown, but also caught one as well.

2004 season: Martin had the best year of his career with 1697 yards, 12 touchdowns, and won the rushing title.

7.  Steve Deberg (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) 1987 - On opening day, the Falcons had no answer for Deberg and the Bucs.  Tampa Bay blew the Falcons out, 48-10.  Deberg spread the ball out, hitting 8 different receivers on his way to throwing for 333 yards and 5 touchdowns.

1987 season:
The rest of Deberg’s season was a disappointment, finishing with 14 touchdowns, 7 interceptions and 1891 yards.

6. Anquan Boldin (Cardinals) 2003 - It was not only the first game of the season, it was rookie Anquan Boldin’s first NFL game.  After questions about his speed caused him to slip to the second round in the draft, Boldin put the entire NFL on notice that he had arrived with a game for the ages.  Boldin exploded with 10 catches for an NFL rookie record of 217 yards and 2 touchdowns.   
 
2003 season: Boldin had one of the best rookie seasons ever.  101 receptions, 1377 yards, 8 touchdowns

5. Michael Turner (Falcons) 2007 - After spending his entire career backing up Ladainian Tomlinson in San Diego, Turner was finally given a chance to start with the Falcons.  In Turner’s first game as a Falcon, he showed he was worth being a starting running back in the NFL.  Turner’s 220 rushing yards were not just a Falcon's single game record, but also the second highest opening day total ever behind O.J. Simpson’s 250 in 1973.  Turner scored 2 touchdowns.

2007 season: Turner had a pro bowl season with 1699 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints)4. Irving Fryar (Miami Dolphins) 1994 - The fact that Fryar caught 5 passes on opening day isn’t spectacular.  The fact that he averaged 42 yards per catch is.  Of the 5 catches of the day for Fryar, 3 of them went for touchdowns.  Fryar’s final line for the day: 5 receptions, 211 yards, 3 touchdowns

1994 season:
Fryar had another pro bowl season - 73 receptions, 1270 yards. However, he only caught 4 more touchdowns the rest of the season, bringing his total to 7.

3.  Phil Simms (NY Giants) 1984 - After a rough first three years in NY in which Simms saw many injuries and being benched by first year coach Bill Parcells, Sims was named the starter for the 1984 season.  He didn’t waste any time showing that he was the right man for the job.  In the first game of the 1984 season, Simms threw 30 passes and completed all but seven of them.  Aside from completing 76 percent of his passes, Simms threw for 409 yards and 4 touchdowns, leading the Giants to a one point win over the division rival Eagles.

1984 season:
The game would be Simms' best of the year by far, but he had a solid season throwing for over 4,000 yards,  22 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

2. Drew Brees (Saints) 2009 - After putting up eye popping numbers last year, Brees picked up right where he left off.  Brees spread the ball around to the tune of 358 yards and 6 touchdowns.

1. Dan Marino & Drew Bledsoe battle (Patriots vs Dolphins) 1994 - Coming into the season, a young Bledsoe was drawing a lot of Marino comparisons.  The battle between the two superstar QBs lived up to its top billing.  Marino threw for 473 yards and 5 touchdowns while Bledsoe wasn’t too shabby himself, throwing for 421 and 4 touchdowns.  The game was a shootout that went down to the end with Marino throwing 2 touchdowns in the fourth quarter to Bledsoe’s 1 as the Dolphins pulled out a 39-35 victory.  The two QBs combined for 894 yards and 9 touchdowns.

1994 season: Marino - 4453 yards, 30 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.  Bledsoe - 4555 yards, 25 touchdowns.
 

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